Technology, Knowledge and Learning

, Volume 22, Issue 3, pp 335–352 | Cite as

Balancing Student Success: Assessing Supplemental Instruction Through Coarsened Exact Matching

  • Maureen A. GuarcelloEmail author
  • Richard A. Levine
  • Joshua Beemer
  • James P. Frazee
  • Mark A. Laumakis
  • Stephen A. Schellenberg
Original Research


Supplemental Instruction (SI) is a voluntary, non-remedial, peer-facilitated, course-specific intervention that has been widely demonstrated to increase student success, yet concerns persist regarding the biasing effects of disproportionate participation by already higher-performing students. With a focus on maintaining access for all students, a large, public university in the Western United States used student demographic, performance, and SI participation data to evaluate the intervention’s efficacy while reducing selection bias. This analysis was conducted in the first year of SI implementation within a traditionally high-challenge introductory psychology course. Findings indicate a statistically significant relationship between student participation in SI and increased odds of successful course completion. Furthermore, the application of Coarsened Exact Matching reduced concerns that increased course performance was attributed to an over-representation of higher performing students who elected to attend SI Sessions.


Learning analytics High impact practice Program assessment Propensity score matching 


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2017

Authors and Affiliations

  • Maureen A. Guarcello
    • 1
    Email author
  • Richard A. Levine
    • 2
  • Joshua Beemer
    • 3
  • James P. Frazee
    • 1
  • Mark A. Laumakis
    • 4
  • Stephen A. Schellenberg
    • 5
  1. 1.Instructional Technology ServicesSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  2. 2.Department of Mathematics and StatisticsSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  3. 3.Computational Science Research CenterSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  4. 4.Department of PsychologySan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA
  5. 5.Division of Undergraduate StudiesSan Diego State UniversitySan DiegoUSA

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